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Artichoke Board Reform Planned

Artichoke Board Reform Planned

McGillicuddy Serious
Root vegetable policy unit

Telephone +64 4 385 6728

Sunday, 10 October 1999 Press release - strictly embargoed until October 11

McGillicuddy Serious will reform Artichoke marketing regime

McGillicuddy Serious announced plans for a total overhaul of New Zealand’s artichoke marketing bodies today. The announcement is part of the party’s flagship agricultural policy.

The party plans to split the existing Artichoke Board into two separate entities, with responsibility for Jerusalem artichokes moving to a new authority. Globe artichokes will be dealt with by Global Artichoke New Zealand, which will operate as a state owned enterprise. Jerusalem Artichokes will be managed by a new group to be called Hiruharama 2000.

“These changes are long overdue,” said the Party’s root vegetable spokesperson Joe Rastapopoulous, “Jerusalem artichokes are not true artichokes at all, and do not come from Jerusalem. They are in fact from the sunflower genus and Jerusalem is believed to be a corruption of the French name, Girasole.”

While the Globe artichoke is highly regarded, Rastapopoulous said that the Hiruharama artichoke had a bright future, especially as an export crop. “The old Artichoke Board was a quango weighed down with political appointees, and was rotten with a global bias. These problems were never addressed by previous governments, who left the issue in the ‘too hard’ basket.”

“Hiruharama will be a highly marketable product. These tasty tubers are gaining popularity in North America as a diet food. The Hiruharama branding will identify the product with New Zealand, but will also evoke the Meso-american Jicama (pronounced hi-kama), a vegetable familiar to the discerning North American root vegetable buyer.”

“These policies are timely, progressive and point to a bright future for Hiruharama growers under a McGillicuddy government,” said Rastapopoulous. He added that he “hoped that other parties would take note of the suggestions and that the policies could be adopted by consensus in any post-election coalition agreement.”

For further information on root vegetable policies, including potato policy and oca opinions, contact:

Joe Rastapopoulous Telephone 04 385 6728 or 04 384 1364

(Root vegetable spokesperson and Well-Central Campaign Manager)

McGillicuddy Serious Benthic policy unit

Telephone +64 4 385 6728

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